Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Week 2 Day 2 of Doing the Impossible

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea what the day would hold, but it felt like a normal day, however when you sign up to do the impossible, who can define normal.   I got the kids to school and on the way home from taking my youngest noticed a boy running.  I have seen him on several occasions, I don't know if it is his age, his focus, his determination, but I thought he inspires me.  I thought about posting on Facebook to his parents something about this, but never did.

Anyway, I got myself to kickboxing class, all normal.  However, after my class I had to drive to get my allergy shot, despite my music blasting and my mouth singing, memories and thoughts began flooding my mind.  I was not surprised, this week two years ago was a difficult time for me....I just kept singing and let the wind from my sunroof and window rush in. 

I arrived at my appointment and found myself waiting an abnormally long time.  With time my mind continued to wander, not just on memories of two years ago, but on today, on the last few months, on the last few weeks, and on the future.  My spirit quickly became heavy, I was ready to get that shot over and envelope myself in music and wind again.  When I finally got back in my swagger wagon, I did turn up the music and open the sunroof, I did sing, but I kept fighting this heaviness.  I made up my mind to spend time in prayer when I got home.  In that time I felt a whole lot like Jacob, who wrestled with G-d. (see Genesis 32).  I cried. I questioned. I confessed.  I asked for wisdom, peace, and discernment.

I felt better after my time, but not normal.  I was looking forward to my second workout of the day and our evening routine and activities. 

Yesterday, a new friend sent me a song.  She said she was listening to it and the Lord said it was for us.  It was an amazing song, so amazing I downloaded it and the whole album, and the entire album is amazing.  It is what I have been belting out all day.  The artist is Rita Springer, the album is titled Battles.  (Get it!!  You will not be disappointed).

I decided to listen to this album while I was doing my 5 rounds of 4 minute walking/1 minute running. My husband and youngest daughter were joining me on the track, my oldest was having soccer practice and there were several other kids there as well. 

Round one wasn't bad, but each round after got hard.  My knees felt unstable, reminding me of the instability in my life.  I just kept listening to the music and during a walk brought up our group's memory verse for this week. But, I began to feel frustrated.  There was so much noise around me and in my own head.  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to be alone.  During this panic feeling state, my husband asked me a question that made me feel more anxious.  During the next walk time, I got on Facebook and posted to my new group of friends: 'Ya'll I am on a 4 minute walk part as I type and it's hard today...super hard, physically due to spiritual and emotional stuff..."

And I kept going.  I was acutely aware of every discomfort...something in my shoe, my laces not tied tight enough, nor tied the same, the thirst in my throat...and then the last song that played by Rita Springer, on the last long 1 minute run pierced my ears and my soul.  

"Our God Is With Us" (featuring Nicole Binion)

Where there is conflict, sometimes we retreat
Where there is struggle, we may fail to see
Our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us, he will never leave

When found in the ashes, we still have a chance
Where there is mourning, don't forget to dance
Cause our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us, He will never leave
Our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us, He will never leave

He does no forsake us, hate us or make us walk alone
He is always right there, stays where He can see the storm
We just have to hold on, stay strong, know He has our best in mind
Our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us

Where there are shadows, He becomes the light
If we go into battle, He will win the fight
Cause our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us, He will never leave
Our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us, He will never leave

He is for us, no one can stop what He's doing
He is with us, and we will see all the He promised
He is for us, no can stop what He's doing
He is with us, we will see all the He promised
He is for us, no one can stop what He's doing
He is with us, and we will see all the He promised

He does no forsake us, hate us or make us walk alone
He is always right there, stays where He can see the storm
We just have to hold on, stay strong, know He has our best in mind
Our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us

These words wrapped me up and held me while I ran the longest minute ever.  I still wanted to burst into tears at the end of that run, but this time it was because when I am feeling heavy, when I am feeling alone, when I am feeling hurt, when I am feeling exhausted, when I am anxious, when I am challenged, when I am in tears, when I am in conflict, when I am in struggle, and when there is too much noise.....My  G-d is with me.  


As I was leaving the track to walk home, I saw that same boy from this morning, and was able to tell him myself that seeing him run inspires me and that I was training for a half.  

Yes, my G-d is with me.  

Courage

Doing The Impossible



Monday, May 1, 2017

Doing The Impossible


I have been challenged by Abby Rike Rockenbaugh with rockthis.org to do the impossible.  She first asked our Facebook group to pray that G-d would start preparing us to do the impossible on April 3 and to be open to where He leads. I was clueless as to what the challenge would be, but loved the part about doing the impossible.  It takes courage to do the impossible, with courage being my one word for the year I knew I had to be open.

On April 6, after a long work day I listened to the recording of the live announcement telling what the challenge would be. The challenge, the impossible, is to run a half marathon and if able participate in her state.

Yep, this felt impossible.  But courage is my one word.  I kept praying. 

On April 10th I commented with these words "Abby Rike Rockenbaugh I was excited to hear about your challenge and then I listened, in fact I listened to the recording Thursday night.  And I freaked a little! Okay a lot!  I thought about the 5ks I have ran and even blogged about on my blog!  I thought about I am already working out and I don't have time to walk!  I thought I can't run (two knee surgeries). I thought I don't like to fly, actually I am fearful of it..and could I get away for a weekend??  Then I think oh how fun this could be!!  You said impossible...girl you were spot on!"

When I watched the announcement video I heard several things that tugged at my heart, so I decided to watch it again and take notes.  Abby spoke of a study that she was doing and in that study it fascinated her how much Jesus walked.  This pulled at spirit.

During this same time my pastor, Trey Graham, has been doing a teaching series titled "A Walk Through The Holy Land"(you can listen here).  He has taken us to various places in Israel, making me see the bible in a whole new way.  He has made it come to life by teaching me about the geography, where stories took place, the history, and where Jesus walked. The visuals he has used have brought it to life.  G-d had already began a stirring in me regarding Israel and Jewish people after Rabbi Dov Lipman spoke at our church in February, but with this teaching it went deeper. (Again, I hate to fly, but would love to have the opportunity to visit the Holy Land and walk where Jesus walked.)

Abby's words about Jesus walking and Trey's teaching, showing me where He walked continued to pull at my heart.  Abby said this challenge was about finding Jesus on the journey, so much of His ministry was on the journey, and basically she reminded me that so much life happens on the journey, not just at point A and point B.
 
Maybe G-d wants to teach me something through this challenge. 

I was hesitant to be open to this, because my initial reaction is, but I can't run...but after prayer and conviction, I continued to think about what I can do.  I can walk...like Jesus walked. It may not be in the Holy Land, but it is where He has me.  And maybe, just maybe the running will be possible again.

Then Abby did another live video, reminding us that this impossible challenge is not about legalism,   it's about today, and it's about the journey, and how it parallels our Christian walk.   It's not a sprint.   I was reminded to take it one day at a time and that G-d provides new today's.  

Recently, I had someone pray for me and in that prayer she prayed about doing the impossible, not knowing any of the above story, but it was another push for me embrace the challenge.  Asthma, knee surgeries, doubts, struggles, and all. 

I am in!  I am doing the impossible!!!  I am training for a half marathon. 

I look forward to what G-d is going to teach me on this journey.  I already workout 5 days/week and plan on continuing with those workouts and I will add 3-4 days of training for this half.  Will I run it, I don't know...right now that seems impossible.  Will I fly to another state and participate with this group of people or find one close to me...I don't know yet. But, what I do know is that I will commit to the training, commit to the bible study, walk with Jesus, and see what happens.

The training began today.   

My journey with weight loss, my walk with Christ, and this training all take endurance, perseverance, inward reflection, changing my thoughts, changing my patterns, changing my actions, and commitment.  They take not living by my feelings, but living through the power and truth of Christ and they take courage.  Who knew when I picked that word for 2017 that I would be doing the impossible.

Courage.

Doing the Impossible.

All Things Through Christ.